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Chapter 2 - Revels at the Court of Elizabeth I, 1594–1603

from Part I - Elizabethan Court Theatre

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 October 2019

Sophie Chiari
Affiliation:
Clermont Auvergne University, France
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Summary

Chapter 2 argues that 1594 was an extraordinary year in the history of Elizabeth I’s revels. According to William R. Streitberger, documentary evidence shows that in 1593 Master of the Revels Edmund Tilney attempted to impose a 'composition' signed by the Queen which made the Revels Office responsible for 'plays only' and reduced its budget both for the wages of the officers and production costs. The under officers of the Revels refused to accept this composition, making it impossible for Tilney to pay Revels Office bills until a settlement was reached five years later. In April 1594 the 5th Earl of Derby died, and many of Derby’s players later wound up in the Admiral’s and Chamberlain’s companies. The connection between the problems in the Revels Office between 1593 and 1598, the formation of these two companies, and the successful restart of the Queen’s revels in December 1594 can only be properly understood in the context of the efforts begun in 1573 by the Queen and a small group of her relatives and personal friends on the Privy Council to reform the Revels Office.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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